We cannot exactly add Real Salt Lake to the list of MLS teams in the “sitting pretty” category of CONCACAF Champions League play – but the club from Utah is a lot closer today than yesterday.
Real Salt Lake needed all three points in last night’s tussle with Panama’s Tauro in order to stay in the thick of things in group play. Jason Kreis’ men got what they needed, but just barely.
Álvaro Saborío’s penalty kick in the 93rd minute gave the Utah side a 1-0 win over the Panamanian champions.
So yesterday’s win in Central America sets up a high stakes Oct. 23 showdown with Costa Rican champions Herediano, who currently share top spot in CCL Group 2, with six points each.
Herediano still has a home match against Tauro (which has now been eliminated). So, the likelihood looks like this for RSL:
Kreis’ side will probably need a win; chances are that a draw would suffice for the Costa Ricans. Even then, it will probably come down to goal difference; the result of that Sept. 25 Herediano-Tauro contest will be significant.
RSL and Herediano both are currently at plus-2 on goal difference. Here are the current Group 2 standings:
Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.
Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.
Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.
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Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.
With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.
Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.
City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.
Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.
Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.
[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]
Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.
Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.